FACULTY OF HEALTH SCIENCES
Institute for Biokinetics
Ka ga Rona
The Institute for Biokinetics (North-West University) is named after the late professional wrestler, Johannes van der Walt, in acknowledgement of his contribution to the establishment of the department. The Department of Physical Education was established at the PUK in the 1940s with funding from the Johannes van der Walt Trust Fund. After various academic detours in the sixties, an important change in emphasis occurred in the postgraduate activities of the department when a master's degree student, the current Prof. Gert Strydom, investigated the remedial value of scientifically based exercise programmes for individuals who suffered from myocardial infarction. The successful outcome of this study resulted in regular requests to the department to prescribe specialised exercise programmes for specific health problems. The success of the exercise programmes moved the focus to the field of exercise physiology, and several community service programmes originated at the PUK, so that bigger facilities were constructed in the seventies.
The primary focus of the institute was on service delivery, research and training. After years of negotiations (since 1969) Biokinetics ("life through movement") was approved as professional discipline with the then SAMDC (South African Medical and Dental Council) on 9 September 1983.